Welfare in Sparsely Populated Areas – The Organisation of Healthcare and Social Services
One of the greatest challenges facing the sparsely populated areas of the Nordic region is the recruitment and retention of staff in the health and welfare sector. While the needs are great and the obstacles many, there are good solutions available that contribute to sustainable welfare in such areas. This is the topic of the digital conference Welfare in Sparsely Populated Areas: The Organisation of Healthcare and Social Services.
When researchers, practitioners and policymakers discuss the challenges presented by sparsely populated areas of the Nordic region, the emphasis is generally on recruitment, staff competences and continued professional development, as well as the organisation of health and welfare services. These issues are also the focus for the digital conference Welfare in Sparsely Populated Areas: The Organisation of Healthcare and Social Services.
Martin Olauzon head of the unit for rural and local capacity at Tillväxtverket, The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, will present the government commission and subsequent report on rural competence provision presented to the Swedish Government in spring 2020, Landsbygders kompetensförsörjning.
Among other things, the report shows that it is in remote rural municipalities that the greatest shortcomings are found in health and welfare services and that this presents a long-term threat to regional development. Competence matching also works less well in rural areas; i.e., a smaller percentage of people have a profession that matches their education.
There are Nordic initiatives that make a difference and may provide the solution for many municipalities. Helen Brandstorp, Division Director for Health Intelligence and Policy at the Norwegian Directorate of Health and formerly of the Norwegian Centre for Rural Medicine, will present the project Making it work.
Making it Work is a model for working systematically to recruit and retain key personnel in the welfare sector in sparsely populated municipalities. Helen Brandstorp has worked with three Norwegian municipalities, Meløy, Odda and Årdal, all of which have long-standing problems with recruiting and retaining key personnel, especially doctors. Making it Work has been used in Sweden, Norway, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Welfare in Sparsely Populated Areas: The Organisation of Healthcare and Social Services is a full-day conference. Other themes addressed over the course of the day will include organisational initiatives and innovations in the field of public-sector service delivery and the use of digital solutions and welfare technology.
The impact of distance-spanning solutions
Special guests will include representatives from the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities, who will be both presenting examples of initiatives at home and taking part in more in-depth discussions.
In another discussion, the conference will be highlighting the impact of distance-spanning solutions on public-sector recruitment and competence provision in rural areas. Participants in this discussion will include representatives from three regions: Eksote in Finland, North Jutland in Denmark och Sogn og Fjordane in Norway.
You can read about this and other items in the conference programme. The conference moderator is Morten Hyllegaard, who works with organisational and leadership development in the public sector throughout Scandinavia and is a regular contributor in the field of welfare development.
The Nordic Welfare Centre is organising the conference in collaboration with Nordregio and the Centre for Rural Medicine. The conference is part of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands’ Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2020.
You can learn more about the project Health and Welfare Through Distance-Spanning Solutions.